County Championships axed for 2020/21

As part of the cost cutting being implemented by the RFU in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, the Bill Beaumont, Gill Burns and Jason Leonard Cups have been axed for the forthcoming season.

The RFU have stated that this is for one season only.

This news will naturally come as a great disappointment for all members of Trelawny’s Army, however it should be remembered that 139 staff at the RFU are set to lose their jobs as part of the cut-backs! A sobering thought.

The following announcement was made today by the Chairman of the CRFU, Dave Saunter.

Following the announcement from RFU CEO Bill Sweeney concerning cut backs envisaged by the RFU to get through the financial effects of the covid pandemic, CRFU Chairman Dave Saunter made the following comments;

“You will no doubt have heard the sad news that the aspirational pathway from the RFU has been cancelled for the 20/21 season. This means no Bill Beaumont Cup, Gill Burns Cup, Jason Leonard Cup or U18s divisional programme. It will also mean no England Counties rugby for any of the age groups.

“This was part of an announcement by Bill Sweeney RFU CEO which also included the loss of 139 jobs across the RFU, locally our own team of Jonny Stephenson, Phil Morris and Neil Smith are all under threat of redundancies. I’m sure like me you will be crossing fingers and toes, so that their jobs are saved, they are an integral part of our team and we hope the future is good for them.

“The County via the management board who are currently meeting via Microsoft teams every fortnight are already talking to our neighbours and other Counties about some sort of County rugby next year. You can be certain we will do all in our power to make sure we have the opportunity of watching the Black and Gold shirt at one of the County grounds.

“As an example of Management Board work, we are part way through a programme of having clubs tested for legionella within their water supply. Twenty-two clubs have taken us up on this at a cost of £3520, paid for by the RFU via the County.

“Whilst this is a hard time for all of us I would also like to thank all the clubs who were able to Support our NHS with their immunisation programme. All clubs who took part gave their venues for free, a great example of Cornish Rugby spirit.

“We now wait for when we can get back to pulling our boots on and hopefully the 2020/21 season can start. In the meantime stay safe and remember the County via the RFU does have finances to help.”

John Sumnall, CRFU President added, “The sad news that we are to lose the County Championship for a second year is only tempered by the latest news that there will be a loss of 139 jobs at the RFU together with a considerable remodelling of the organisation.

“Thankfully, Cornwall is determined to play some County Rugby at all levels in the coming season and planning has already begun.

The RFU have stated their continuing 3 aims are:

• Supporting the community game and our member clubs – which are the life blood of our game.  

• Maintaining our ability to compete and win in the performance arena.  

• Delivering on our purpose of enriching lives, introducing more people and more diversity to rugby union while developing the sport for future generations.

“We very much hope the County Championship, at all levels, will be part of this in seasons to come.”

County Treasurer, Andy Richards added. “Whilst it is obviously sad to be losing the revenue from two home fixtures, our thoughts should be with Jonny and his team, hopefully they will get through this second threat of redundancy in two years. I’m sure we will have some format of County rugby at the different levels during the season to come.”

Dave Saunter added. “If any club needs help please contact me on my mobile 07554010480.”

Dave Saunter

Chairman, CRFU Management Board.

Posted in Bill's Blog

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